Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hangzhou Flower Nursery

Another whirlwind China weekend!  We went with our new friends from Italy, Stephania and Damiano this weekend to a lovely park near Westlake for some photographic opportunities, and to get the kids outside.
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They picked us up in their 7 passenger minivan which now seems like quite a luxury to us as we usually walk, bike or take a taxi.  We went to this very serene park, which, after we got there of course, wasn't so serene!

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Though everyone else had their coats on, Sophie wasn't interested in wearing hers, as usual!
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Not many other Westerners here at this out-of-the-way spot, and our 7 white faces caught the attention of these local girls who watched us stroll by.
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Peter and Jack found these "Flintstone" clubs and beat each other silly with them.  It was the only thing that could be heard for miles around in this quiet park :) . 
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Jack, after having somehow disarmed his big brother.
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Some park scenes...
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Now it was Peter's turn with both of the clubs, and he thoroughly enjoyed pummeling his brother until Jack had to assume the fetal position.
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Damiano joined into the fray and his bigger size was definitely an advantage!

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Sophie enjoyed being by the water of course, and she teetered on the edge all the time but miraculously never fell in.  She is so good at staying on her feet!
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Enjoying the park...
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The two brothers sure have grown close in China!
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Jack, attempting to get as filthy as possible - as usual!
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Sophie loves to be with her big brothers.  The feeling isn't always mutual!
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The boys, playing with a leaf and some water - their toys are simpler here in China, and they don't seem to mind!
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At first glance, this looks like a peaceful scene, but actually, Sue is disciplining Sophie, telling her to come when she calls!
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At the store where the boys found the clubs, Sophie found this ball and was overjoyed.  It was definitely 5 quai well spent (about 80 cents, US).
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We had to stop back at the little store because the boys wore out their first clubs by beating each other to death with them.  This second set probably won't last long either!
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The boys, continuing their calm ways in the park.
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If I look in a different direction from where Sophie and the boys are playing, I feel so relaxed!
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Sue and Stephania, chatting in the park.
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Stephania and Damiano left us at 5:30, and then we went to dinner with our other friends, Tim and Fang at 6pm!  I mentioned in a previous entry that Tim is finishing up his doctoral dissertation, and then he and Fang will move to the U.S., so maybe we'll have a chance to hook up with them, stateside!  Sophie really has taken a shining to them and climbs all over them when they're here.
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Tim and  Fang left us last night about 11pm, then we got up at 7:30 this morning to meet yet another family, Enrique and Olga and their two boys for breakfast.  We are now having a brief rest, and then this evening we will go to dinner with Anna and her husband Ben.  Last weekend we stayed in, so apparently this weekend we are making up for lost time!  We are having a good time meeting such interesting people from so many different places; Italy, Russia, America, Poland and of course China!

We went to the Radisson, a western hotel this morning, and had a big western brunch.  The big benefit there was that there is a children's play area complete with Winnie the Pooh cartoons (in Chinese) that she enjoyed.  She also loved seeing the Christmas tree complete with reindeer, which she called donkeys.

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A passerby snapped this picture of us.  The boys stayed home from breakfast so they could be on Runescape with their US friends.
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Oh, and why do they call it a Flower Nursery when there aren't any flowers?  I have no idea!  That's China!

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